“Predator Bait” by Nick Ontosca at nplusonemag.org. This story started fast and never let me go. It’s honest and direct and arresting (read it to get the pun). It’s about love and weakness and people and their lives. It’s about internet perverts and sympathizing with them. The characters are real. The things they say are real. I’m sitting in the bottom of a dank hostel in Ilhues, Brazil and I couldn’stop reading it. I had to write this because I didn’t stop thinking about it.
What it reminds me of is this: good stories exist and they exist in simple and direct ways. No playing with voice. No playing with sentence structure. No playing. Just stories. Heart-crunching stories. Like this one.